Research Question

The society of each country undergoes development, which can be traced on different levels such as economic, scientific and others. One of such aspects is psychological or sociological, which involves the relation of one nation and race towards the others. One presumes that according to the democratic values the developed societies attempt banishing such phenomena as racism and xenophobia. However, modern changes in various societies may encourage them to spread within different countries. Thus, there is a need for investigating this question regarding modern social conditions in the world. Therefore, the proposed research question is “To what extent can we state that racism and xenophobia are still present in modern democratic societies?” The study suggests that there are certain social processes, which strongly oppose democratic initiatives. Hence, the indicated processes are explained through the use of cross-cultural analysis.

Theoretical Position

Furthermore, one presumes that the best approach for the analysis of the discussed social processes is a cross-cultural anthropological analysis. Its basis is the statistical cross-cultural comparison proposed by Heath Kinzer (“Anthropological Theories” 2009). Its early stage is focused on the concept of cultural evolution, “the notion that all societies progress through an identical series of distinct evolutionary stages” (“Anthropological Theories” 2009). The scholar proposed that the human culture undergoes the three stages of development, which are savagery, barbarism and civilization. Moreover, Kinzer (“Anthropological Theories” 2009) indicates that the states in the civilization phase are superior to other countries. Additionally, the study relies on the processes of social change presented by Gullestrup (2006). Thus, the author indicates that the modern world can be characterized by the culture dynamics. He states that “the environment is not static, the challenges that confront people of an observed culture will also change continuously” (Gullestrup 2006, 102). That is why the interchanging characters of cultural processes may cause the transference of the negative features of a particular culture into other nations. Moreover, the author considers complex cultures, which have numerous layers of development such as technological, structural, division of labor and others. Consequently, one of such layers can be regarded racism and xenophobia as they are present almost in each country to some extent. 

What is more, the study subsides to the discussion of the selected social phenomena regarding the stages of their existence. Thus, Wistrich (2013) traces their nature beginning from the Ancient Greece and Rome, Middle Ages up to the New Europe. The scholar identifies the basic factors, which impact the spread of xenophobia and racism; among them are demonization of the other and stereotypes. Therefore, the study proposes comparing and contrasting these aspects in order to investigate their presence in modern democratic countries. The examples provided by Harrison (2005) discuss the existence of racism and xenophobia in the history of such countries as Australia, India and Canada. Likewise, it supports the view that the negative historic precedents from the developing countries impacted modern democratic ones.


Sources of Evidence

The main source of evidence for the research is considered the book by Harrison (2005), which addresses the historic context of racism and xenophobia in several countries. Some of the countries such as Canada, India and African ones were dominions of the British Empire and France, which influenced the international constituency of their citizens. Throughout their historic development the representatives of various nations faced with discrimination on racial and ethnic basis. For instance, being in their home countries, they had poorer wages and life conditions as well as lacked social benefits the other citizens had.  Furthermore, the incoming immigrants transferred the discussed social phenomena into other countries such as the USA, France, and Britain. Additionally, one suggests that there are modern examples of this issue caused by military conflicts. For instance, the terroristic attacks of ISIS on the Middle East forced millions of people to migrate in Europe. This caused racism and xenophobia to revolve in one of the strongest democracies of the world, which is the EU. The example of this is discussed by Shabi (2015) claiming that migrants have become racists too, defending their interests and freedoms. Therefore, one suggests that the research has valid examples from the history and contemporary lives of the citizens of the democratic countries.

Relevance of the Project

The issue of the proposed project addresses the presence of racism and xenophobia in modern democratic countries. The study suggests that despite the fact the developed countries are considered free from the indicated issues, they are still revolving. Moreover, modern and historic social analysis through the culture contrast indicates that the discussed social phenomena are present almost within any multinational country. Thus, one presumes that the selected theory of cross-cultural anthropological investigation is relevant for the analysis of the selected topic.

Annotated Bibliography

Gullestrup, Hans. 2006. Cultural Analysis: Towards Cross-Cultural Understanding. Copenhagen: Copenhagen Business School Press. 

The book by Gullestrup utilizes the cross-cultural approach, which is used for enhancing the understanding of cultural processes in various countries. The author presents a systematic method of investigations, which includes such aspects as internationalization, cooperation and other cross-cultural issues. Moreover, the author suggests that individual cultures undergo significant changes as a result of a cross-cultural integration. Therefore, the representatives of these cultures face certain challenges in various aspects of their lives. The book presents intercultural understanding through providing the insights into various cultures and highlighting cultural differences along with the aspects of their interaction. Additionally, Gullestrup suggests that people should work across the cross-cultural boundaries and co-act, achieving understanding and collaboration. The abovementioned cultural analysis forms the theoretical basis for the selected research proposal. Therefore, one regards it useful for the study addressing such important intercultural issues as racism and xenophobia. The intellectual plurality and complexity of the discussed work would enhance the proposed research topic.

Wistrich, Robert. 2013. Demonizing the Other: Antisemitism, Racism and Xenophobia. London: Routledge. 

Wistrich’s book discusses the topics of antisemitism, racism and xenophobia from the social and cultural perspectives. The author performs the historical analysis to present the evolution of the discussed phenomena. The study can be characterized as innovative because it presents an interdisciplinary cross-cultural approach. This method blends such scientific disciplines as history, anthropology, psychology and literary criticism. The complexity of the approach allows tracing the manifestations of antisemitism, racism and xenophobia from the period of the Ancient Greece and Rome to the Modern Era. The analysis of this book enhances the understanding of the discussed phenomena through the use of numerous historic examples. Moreover, the indicated social issues are analyzed in a broad social, cultural and historical contexts, allowing obtain their comprehensive picture. Furthermore, the indicated patterns of the evolution of racism and xenophobia are transferred to the discussed research proposal. One presumes that the plurality of the discussed aspects by the author allow getting an insight into the social and cultural basis for prejudices, and stereotypes, as well as national and racial hatred. All the factors mentioned make this book one of the basic references, which enhances the methodological basis of the research.

Harrison, Faye Venetia. 2005. Resisting Racism and Xenophobia: Global Perspectives on Race, Gender, and Human Rights. Lanham: Rowman Altamira. 

The study by Harrison reveals the contemporary vision on racism and xenophobia. The author proposes certain international perspectives on these phenomena, based on the contemporary research. Harrison suggests that the processes of globalization and internationalization face the issues of racism, xenophobia as well as other negative social factors. Moreover, the author discusses various social conflicts of the modern world, which include the issues of race, gender, ethnicity and others. She presumes that these problems have significant implications on the development of international communities. The author uses complex examples allowing her illustrate the cause-consecutive relationship of the discussed factors and their repercussion for the community. Further, she addresses such countries as the EU, the US, and Australia, as well as many others, reflecting on social realities and perspectives of the growing racism and xenophobia. This work contributes to various investigations in anthropology, sociology, politics and culture. The book is valuable for the practitioners working in the indicated spheres as it presents up to date facts and their implications for the countries. For instance, it might be useful when discussing the human rights, as well as racial and ethical aspects relating to the phenomena of racism and xenophobia. Therefore, one suggests that the book by Harrison is useful for the research because it presents a contemporary vision on the subject matter.

“Anthropological Theories.” 2009. The University of Alabama. Department of Anthropology. //

The article is a comprehensive representation of a cross-cultural analysis. The author discusses the origins of the scientific method, enhancing it with modern approaches and studies in the field of anthropology. The analysis begins with the discussion of evolvement of the approach regarding Heath Kinzer and Judith L. Gillies as the two prominent personalities, who initiated the method. Furthermore, the author discusses the basic premises, points of reaction, leading figures and key works associated with the topic. That is why one assumes that this paper to be a comprehensive overview of the cross-cultural analysis in anthropology. This method is relevant for the selected study because it investigates various social phenomena. What’s more, it introduces a valid methodological toolkit, allowing analyse the topic of racism and xenophobia in historic and modern contests. By the same token, the abovementioned methodological basis is used in the research proposal as one of the main approaches in investigation. One suggests that the proposed principal concepts and methodology enhance the analytical aspects of the selected research. It allows obtaining deeper insight into the sociological and cultural aspects of racism and xenophobia. Moreover, it allows evaluating historical and modern cases addressing the indicated social phenomena. Taking these arguments into account, one suggests that the characterized paper is one of the critical resources for the given research. Consequently, its basic concepts and methods are used to perform a comprehensive analysis of the selected topic.

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Shabi, Rachel. 2015. “Why Is Everyone Surprised that Migrants Can Be Racist, too? Prejudice Isn't that Straightforward.” In Independent. // surprised-that-migrants-can-be-racist-too-prejudice-isnt-that-straightforward-a6701056.html.

The given article serves as a modern example of the cases of racism and xenophobia. Its author, Rachel Shabi, reports on issues emerging in Great Britain. Apparently, the refugees from the Middle East faced with the nationalistic opposition in the country that is defending Britain’s social interests. However, the author indicates that racism and xenophobia also emerged among the refugees as a response to the failure of acceptance by the citizens of the UK. Therefore, the Muslim immigrants provoke this modern democratic country into the evolvement of the above-revealed issues, which the research regards as barbaric. Furthermore, Shabi reports that initially migrants encountered sympathetic attitudes of the native citizens of the United Kingdom. However, the emerging social and economic difficulties connected with the increasing number of immigrants aroused hostility. Therefore, the democratic country is at the risk of the outbursts of racial violence and xenophobia. Such case was a great challenge for the state and required deep social and political investigation in order to preserve the democracy and peace. That is why one suggests that the reported case is one of the modern cases of racism, which once was the case in the United Kingdom. The research suggests that such cases need comprehensive democratic solutions because violence leads to even more violence, putting the country at risk of the civil war. 


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